In this age of digital devices, high resolutions are finally being embraced by many consumers and enthusiasts alike. These people always make sure that the things that they purchase have support for HD content whether it is a new TV or even a new mobile phone. The overall quality has notable differences when viewed on HD screens making it hard to go back and accept the standard definition which was once considered good.
But that does not mean that standard definition devices are on their way out. Sure, they might be less in demand these days considering the impact that high definition made but one thing that will always make standard definition devices attractive is the price. It is the same reason why manufacturers like Panasonic are not really giving up on making SD camcorders. Digital camcorders are more expensive in general than ordinary digital cameras but digital camcorders have more dedicated features and have that look and comfortable feel. The Panasonic SDR-H100 offers that humble SD functionality but it has some nice offerings too to separate it from other budget SD camcorders.
Design and Interface
The Panasonic SDR-H100 is a compact digital camcorder with some pretty basic functions so you know that this is one model that is simple to use even if you do not consult the manual. There is a standard 2.7-inch widescreen LCD display to work with and there are three accessible buttons next to it where you can navigate through the menu or optimize the focus. The device turns on in less than a second and is light enough for you to do constant recording.
Although you are limited to standard definition recording, there is a lot of flexibility with the enhanced optical 78x zoom. This gives you a lot of freedom in zooming to very distant subjects without suffering from image degradation. But very slight handshakes can ruin zoomed footage which leads to the purpose of the Advanced O.I.S. or Optical Image Stabilizer. This lets you enjoy sharper imagery regardless of your zoom setting. You can also take better video footage while you are walking.
The SDR-H100 is still a widescreen camcorder so the videos that you record should still look nice on any display that has the 16:9 aspect ratio. You can use the 33mm wide-angle scope to take good landscape video or simply fit more people into the scene. Combined with the zoom functionality you basically get more creative options in a seemingly simple video camera. Regardless of what setting you use, image quality is pretty decent because it makes use of the Pure Color Engine which obtains an RGB signal from the CCD output signal and then performs an extraction to better reproduce the colors.
If you are not satisfied with the color results, you can tweak it by activating the Scene Mode which lets SDR-H100 decide on the shutter speed and aperture settings depending on what you are shooting. Whether you are on the beach or under the sunset or enjoying a fireworks display, the Scene Mode can greatly help in producing natural video.
The SDR-H100 makes use of an 80 GB hard drive as its internal memory which is more than enough to store days worth of video. You also get support for SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards so you can add even more space.
Good video camcorders can detect some flaws on the skin such as blemishes and videos can be difficult to edit if you want to make them less obvious. You won’t have to worry if you use the Soft Skin mode because it softens the focus of the skin areas just enough to make them smoother. What is great is that other non-skin areas are completely unaffected so the resolution is retained. It also has a Face Detection feature to add priority to faces.
The built-in microphone can even pick up slight sounds but if you want to get a bit more focused, you can use the new Zoom Mic feature which links to your camera zoom setting so you can capture the sound of your target subject and minimize other unrelated noise. You can even get rid of the noise caused by the wind by using the Wind Noise Canceller feature.
The video quality may not rank against its HD camcorder brethren but it certainly packs a punch in implementing similar features that enhance the quality making it better than other standard definition devices. Don’t forget the optical zooming features which make the camcorder more fun to use.
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